The risk is mindless ritualism, but I can’t help but wonder if the benefits are so much more that the risk worth taking. T’is the season for many blog posts on Lent, but my experience last weekend demands I say something on the topic.
Invited to St. George’s Anglican Church in Colorado Springs to teach women core Christian worldview content to launch their season of Lent with a renewed focus on the life of the mind, I came home with a longing for Lent and liturgy. As I prepared for the conference, I focused on ways to communicate that Lent is about orienting the whole life toward sacrificial living, not simply a small sacrifice for a short season to launch diets or meet personal challenges. This I had always known, but as a generic-sort of Baptist, Lent is not a part of our calendar and, frankly, fairly easy to ignore. Prior to the conference, my new Anglican friends were reminding themselves that Lent is not just a time to remove something from their daily routine, but an opportunity for greater sacrifice by replacing one or more things with other things that will nourish them in the immediate and longterm. We all seemed to be on the same page…but in different books?
The richness of Lent and the Anglican liturgy was unmistakably rich, offering an opportunity for a deliberate reverence that was impossible to not be fully engaged in. I’m inspired to a new way of embracing my faith as I return to my life this week and to church on Sunday…with another perspective on worship and sacrifice.